The church that escaped

Yemeni fighters gather around military vehicles at the entrance of the airport in the port city of Aden. Photo: Press Association Images

Yemeni fighters gather around military vehicles at the entrance of the airport in the port city of Aden. Photo: Press Association Images

When we read the news about the Middle East there is not much to rejoice over.

There are wars and rumours of wars and many displaced people. An example of this situation is the country of Yemen.

Yemen is the poorest country in the Middle East, with a population of around 24.5 million. However, it has also been the home for many Somali and Ethiopian refugees over the last 20 years. Since March 2015 there has been prolonged fighting and bombing in the country. The political situation is complicated as Houthi rebels fight pro-government forces. Furthermore, a Saudi-led coalition which supports the ousted president is regularly bombing key targets in the country.

One of these has been the city of Aden, due to its location as a port and being the main city in the south. Buildings and homes have been devastated and many civilians have lost their lives in the fighting. There is no electricity, no water, no fuel – and no food, as nothing is grown locally and the humidity and temperature is unbearable. The situation is desperate… but here is a story from earlier this year of God’s amazing rescue.

Jabi’s story

Jabi came to Yemen as a refugee during the Ethiopian/Eritrean war in the 1990s. He served as a member of the Ethiopian navy. The ship he was on ended up being scuppered along the Yemeni coastline. The Yemeni government in their kindness took these naval seamen and allowed them to be refugees in the country. The United Nations High Commission of Refugees had a camp in the foothills around Taiz where many of the seamen started their new lives in Yemen. Jabi moved to Aden to look for work after being in the camp for some time. While in Aden he became very unwell with typhoid and malaria and was close to death. Two of his friends shared with him about Jesus but he just ridiculed them and laughed at them. However, unknown to Jabi,.. (to read more click here)

Evangelicals Now

This article was first published in the October issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, articles or reviews, visit us online or subscribe to en for monthly updates.

Pep up your preaching!

John Delius provides a possible checklist to scare the daylights out of those in the pulpit

pep up your preaching

If you are a preacher, the following is a checklist you may find helpful.

It is not intended to be used by the whole congregation, but to be given to a friend to check out some of the nuts and bolts of your preaching.

The key:

☺ Hearers are blessed.

:( Hearers are bored.

@ A helpful story or illustration*.

…(to read more click here)

John Delius is a university teacher, who on retirement, with his wife spent several years as a Christian worker in an East Asian country


But remember there can be no good preaching without prayer. Acts 6.4 ‘We will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the Word.’

This article was first published in the June issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, articles or reviews, visit us online or subscribe to en for monthly updates.

Editors commentary: Open sets?

circlesWEBThere were four ministers and their wives.

An Anglican couple, an American Presbyterian couple, a Baptist Union couple and a Grace Baptist couple. (It sounds like the opening line of some embarrassing joke. Should I set an en competition to see who can write the most amusing anecdote with that entrée?). But we were at a wedding reception and for some reason the bride and groom had decided to seat all the clergy around one table – perhaps so that the other guests could enjoy themselves!

The conversation at the table was stimulating, gracious and generally encouraging. We were all gospel people. But into the table talk – I won’t say from which quarter – came the idea of a gospel without boundaries. ‘If we have Christ at the centre and point people to him we need no fences. People are so put off by “fundamentalism”. I don’t want to get tied up on creation, or abortion, or the gay issue, etc. They need to hear about my Saviour, the Lord Jesus!’ Sounds convincing? Here we have the idea, in mathematical terms, of truth as an open set. There were all kinds of comments flying around to which I listened. Finally, everyone turned to me and asked me what I thought.

…..(to read more click here)

This article was first published in the October 2015 issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, articles or reviews, subscribe to en or visit our website

Muslims turning to Christ and the World Cup…(October issue highlights)

Out now in the October issue of Evangelicals Now…

October issue en - cover page

October issue en – cover page

• How a whole church escaped a war zone

• Muslims turning to Christ in Iran

• How to use the Rugby World Cup for outreach

The October issue is out now! Read it online or enjoy the printed paper with your morning cuppa!

You may subscribe to have regular access every month to all of the articles for the ridiculously cheap price of £0.84 a month – £10.00 per year!

Unapologetic Christianity from Chris Sinkinson: Getting the message over



The dust is settling on the 2015 General Election campaign.

At this time it is useful to reflect on the effectiveness of debate in persuasion.

Politicians are involved in a form of apologetics: they make a case for their own policies and present objections to those of their rivals. The most memorable moments are not the quality of the arguments, but the rhetorical flourishes and stirring sound bites. They are risky. Sometimes they add to the arguments made, but other times they can detract.

David Cameron addressed a gathering with his shirtsleeves rolled up and the words ‘Taking a risk, having a punt, having a go, that pumps me up.’ Commentators variously described Cameron as having found his fire, or lost his rag. Ed Milliband generated a similar range of reactions to a set of policy announcements on a tall limestone monument with his claim that the pledges were ‘carved in stone’. For some it was a powerful image of reliability, for others a poor imitation of Moses. We could multiply the memorable moments from other party leaders.

What and how

The important lesson is that making a case involves both ‘what’ we say and ‘how’ we say it. The use of the visual, the catchphrase and the biblical allusion can all help, or hinder, our communication.

This has long been understood as the art of ‘rhetoric’. Rhetoric is the study of how we communicate effectively. The Greek philosopher, Aristotle, composed a work on this subject called On Rhetoric. He identified three components of effective speech. There is Logos. This is the logic of the argument we present, making a clear and reliable claim based on good evidence. There is Pathos. This is the emotional connection between speaker and audience. There is also Ethos. This is the character of the speaker. To be an effective communicator we need to have integrity, credibility and honesty.

Effective communicator

Applying Aristotle’s wisdom to apologetics we can certainly see that all three components should be…(click here to read more)

Chris is lecturer at Moorlands College and pastor of Alderholt Chapel. His books include Confident Christianity and Time Travel to the Old Testament published by IVP. 

This article was first published in the June 2015 issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, artciles or reviews, visit us online or subscribe to en for monthly updates.

Gender moves?

Professor Bruce Ware explains why upholding biblical complementarianism matters

Gender Moves

Does it matter what position we take on roles of men and women in the church and in the home?

Is anything at stake for the health and well-being of the church, and in our human relations, and for the sake of the gospel? In light of calls from some to consider this a secondary issue that should be set aside for the sake of unity, it is important to see why this issue matters both for human thriving and for ecclesial fidelity. I would like to suggest that the complementarian position on biblical roles of men and women is, in at least two important senses, central and not peripheral, primary and not secondary, and so should not be set aside.

Equal but different

The complementarian position is the view that God has created men and women equal in their essential dignity and human personhood but different and complementary in function, with male headship in the home and believing community being understood as part of God’s created design.

By claiming that complementarianism is in some senses central and primary, please notice what I am and am not here claiming. I am not saying that Scripture’s teaching on an all-male eldership in the church, or male headship and wifely submission in the home, is central and primary doctrinally. No, I would reserve doctrinal primacy for such cardinal Christian beliefs as  (to read more click here)

This article is an edited extract from Staying Fresh: Serving with Joy by Paul Mallard, recently published by IVP and is used with permission.

This article was first published in the June issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, artciles or reviews, visit us online or subscribe to en for monthly updates.

And the winner is…nationalism

George Moody reflects on the outcome of May’s General Election

photo: iStock

photo: iStock

The voters have spoken. Yes, the Conservatives are back, but it is in no small part due to the rise of nationalism.

So what is nationalism? It can be defined in different ways. In one way, the emphasis is on the feeling of affection or identity with your own country. Such a sense of loyalty or pride at being a member of a particular nation is often highly visible during sporting events. For those of us lucky enough to be present at the London 2012 Olympics, it is hard to forget the pleasure of being part of a great national moment. We had put on this great show, even if we had actually done nothing more than buy a ticket. It warmed the heart of a nation.

Stronger sense of identity

Such an attachment to land and culture can also be expressed as a desire for separation, for independence, for self-direction. The rise of nationalist parties in the General Election acted as a focus for this stronger sense of identity as difference, and may redefine our political and geographical landscape. The strength of this sentiment seemed to catch the main parties by surprise, inspiring new policy promises on Scotland and Europe.

On the European stage, we can observe this drive in the growth of movements that bear little or no relation to one another in any other way. From far-right parties who narrowly define nationality in terms of ethnic origin, to moderate or right-wing parties who seek greater control over immigration, to left-wing parties who seek independence, the ambition for a more closely defined national identity seems strong and to be on the increase.

What does Scripture say?

While as Christians we often have a ready response to the injustice and inequality some of these movements can spawn, we seem less able to respond to what appears to be…(to read more click here)

George Moody is head of Religious Studies and Philosophy at a senior independent school. He was the subject of the Work in Progress column interview in the May issue of en.

This article was first published in the June issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, articles or reviews, visit us online or subscribe to en for monthly updates.